Race, Media, and the Crisis of Civil Society

From Watts to Rodney King

Race, Media, and the Crisis of Civil Society

Since the early nineteenth century, African-Americans have turned to Black newspapers to monitor the mainstream media and to develop alternative interpretations of public events. Ronald Jacobs tells the stories of these newspapers--in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles--for the first time, comparing African-American and "mainstream" media coverage of racial crises such as the Watts riot, the beating of Rodney King, the Los Angeles uprisings and the O. J. Simpson trial. In an engaging yet scholarly style, Jacobs shows us why a strong African-American press is still needed today.


"This compact work should appeal to those studying race, conflict, and the role of media in society, particularly the different roles that 'big' and 'small' media may play... The book provides valuable insights into the processes of journalistic and societal framings of racial issues during the latter half of the twentieth century... In total, the book makes a compelling argument for the black press as a unique voice, not a substitute for participation in the mainstream media... Jacob's book brings us face-to-face with questions that will color our view of our multicultural world for years to come." Kimberly A. Neuendorf, Contemporary Sociology

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